R. Kelly will not be testifying in his New York sex trafficking trial, he told a federal judge on Wednesday.
“You don’t want to testify, correct?” U.S. District Judge Ann Connelly asked Kelly, according to The Associated Press, to which he responded, “Yes, ma’am.”
Kelly's defense team had previously indicated that it was unlikely he would take the stand.
The once popular R&B singer, whose birth name is Robert Sylvester Kelly and who is known for hits including “Ignition” and “I Believe I Can Fly,” has pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges — which hold 14 underlying acts, including kidnapping, forced labor and sex trafficking — and eight violations of the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to transport anyone across state lines for any “immoral purpose.”
Kelly, 54, has been the subject of a series of sexual assault and child pornography allegations over the years, many of which were detailed in the documentary series, “Surviving R. Kelly.” He has been incarcerated on federal charges since July 11, 2019.
His trial began Aug. 18. at the federal court in Brooklyn. Following Kelly’s decision to not testify, the defense is expected to rest on Wednesday, with the beginning of closing arguments to shortly follow.